Apr 21

Not buying St. Louis link ….

OK, maybe in 2007 it was plausible, that the collapse at the end of the regular season can be traced to the loss in the NLCS to St. Louis. Sure, I can see where there could be a carry over.

But not now.

If the Mets don’t have a killer instinct now it’s because their players lack it, not because they lost with Aaron Heilman’s pitch in Game 7. We’re a dozen games into the season, way too soon to spot any definable personality for this team.

However, it isn’t too soon to spot some definite trends.

The bullpen is much better than it has been in the last two seasons, BUT because of the starters’ inability to go deeper into games there will be an eventual breakdown due to stress.

Johan Santana has been terrific, but the rest of the rotation has been a pocket full of change, which is to say a bunch of Coin Flips. I have no inkling as to what kind of start we’ll see tonight from Oliver Perez. None. Good last time, but bad before that …. bad several times. John Maine has started quickly and faded. Livan Hernandez has had a good and bad outing. Eventually, three-plus innings a night for the pen will carry a toll.

Another inconsistency has been their inability to hit with RISP. Jerry Manuel keeps saying they should score more runs, but putting the pressure on is more than baserunners.

Pressure is defined as scoring. That’s one of the reasons why I want Daniel Murphy down in the order where he’ll get more RBI opportunities. For that matter, I’d like to see Ryan Church back in the line-up, too. They are leaving RISP at an alarming rate that only serves to put pressure on both facets of the pitching and the offense collectively.

The Mets are in St. Louis tonight which reminded me of the NLCS. I don’t think that loss is in their heads. What should be in their heads is how erratic they’ve played this season.

The Mets are a .500 club not because of bad luck or injuries. They are a .500 club because what they deserve to be.

Apr 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #10; Willie returns.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

What kind of ovation should Willie Randolph get from Mets fans tonight? If fairness is in the equation, he should be cheered. How the Mets stumbled down the stretch last year and out of the gate this season, it’s clear the players must assume the lion’s share of the responsibility.

It’s an old saying, but neither Willie nor Jerry Manuel can hit in the clutch, and neither pitches.

The Mets aren’t hitting with RISP. Their starters are erratic. Their defense has been poor. It’s hard to blame all that on the manager, regardless of who he is. This is a flawed team.

Apr 16

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #9; Maine time.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

John Maine gave up a couple of long balls in his last start in Miami against the Marlins. But, he pitched well enough to win if the offense had gotten him another hit or two.

Hitting with RISP has been a recurring theme for the Mets over the past couple of seasons, and this year has started out the same way. They made the most of a bunt single, couple of walks and an error last night, but a bases-loaded double would have saved some angst.

Although Maine pitched well enough to win, he’s still not out of the woods as far as his shoulder is concerned. It will be a little cooler tonight than it was in Florida.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
John Maine, P

Apr 16

About Last Night ….

Coin Flip landed on heads. Oliver Perez was exceptional last night. The story of the game was his ability to throw his change-up for strikes to right-handed hitters. It could be the turnaround pitch he’s always needed. But, as with all things Perez, let’s see him do it again.

I’m not buying Jerry Manuel when he said Daniel Murphy’s relay throw to Jose Reyes was a planned play.

I don’t like what I’m seeing from Reyes offensively. He’s not working the count and he has too much of an uppercut to his swing.

I still like Luis Castillo hitting second and Murphy down in the order. With how the 3-4-5 hitters are getting on base there would be plenty of RBI opportunities for him batting sixth or seventh.

Still not producing with RISP. That was a gift inning that doesn’t come along a lot. Not too often will you get four runs on a bunt single.

Apr 07

About Yesterday ….

A lot of things stand out about Opening Day, but two in particular are important to me.

The first is the effort by Sean Green who finished for Johan Santana and worked the seventh. We’re optimistic about JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez on the back end, but the bridge to them was an issue. If you go by the weakest link in the chain theory, then there were none yesterday.

It will be interesting to see how Jerry Manuel juggles the back end when he wants to give K-Rod or Putz a day off. Having confidence in a guy like Green makes it all the more easier.

What I didn’t like yesterday was how the Mets hit with RISP. That’s been an on-going problem the last two years. It’s only one game and the weather yesterday was horrible, but another hit or two and the game was a blowout. Playing with a lead is always easier and you know there will be games when the pitching gives it up and it’s not Santana on the mound.